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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 19th, 2006: T Minus 3 Days

The fake book cover made for the gallery signing in the beginning of FOC2. 
Picture by my brother Paul C. Kangas, book design by Rich Henn.

Yeah, maybe I did. But how was I to know today was going to be such a fuckin spectacularly blogtastic day?

For those who don't the credits at the end of my films I thank people who have been instrumental in helping me get the film done. That section starts with "The Director Wishes to Thank..."

But I also have a section that says "The Director Does NOT Wish to Thank..." and I list the nimrods who pissed me off during the creation.

Today, we have our second candidate for the listing in FOC2. Enter U-Haul.

See, we're going to burn my old car in the film. The car doesn't run at all, but it LOOKS sweet. It's a sports coupe. I still get people asking whether it's for sale since it's been sitting in my driveway for 2 years.

But I need to get it towed 50 miles to where we're filming. I haven't had too much luck, so I finally figured we'd tow the bitch ourselves with one of the crew's trucks.

Tuesday I stopped by U-Haul to ask about reserving a tow bar for the car. They told me they couldn't do anything. I had to call the main office which would give me the location and time I could pick it up.

So Wednesday I call the main office. They say they can't reserve it until the day before I want to tow. Call back tomorrow if I want it Friday.

So I call back Thursday. I wait another 10 minutes on hold and then tell the person I need to reserve a tow. The person says they don't have a lot of options open. I should have called earlier in the week to reserve it, because a lot of people reserve the tow bars for weekend towing.

I'm still pretty calm about it. I explain nicely what the other pinhead--I mean, representative--said about not being able to reserve it until today. This new rep sets me up and says okay, someone will call back before the end of the day to tell me where and when I can pick up the bar.

And oh yeah--this guy says I can't tow my specific car with the two-wheels-off-the- ground tow bar. My car is so low that it will drag the car's back end. I have to use the tow bar that picks up all 4 wheels. It's $10 more a day. I say, fine, whatever. They ask what I'm towing the car with and I tell them the truck we're using. Fine, fine.

No one calls me that day. Friday comes around and I call them when I wake up at 2pm(I went to sleep about 7am). After waiting--I kid you not--15 minutes for a rep, they tell me I can pick up the tow bar at the U-haul. In Baltimore.

Now...there are 3 effing U-Hauls closer than the one in Baltimore. Driving into Baltimore is also a nightmare. They're working on the main road into Baltimore right now, and it's closed down to 1 lane. So this not cool.

I tell the guy, in very clear and concise 4 letter words what I think of this. I explain that I've had nothing but problems with his shitty company, and this is one more pile of shit he's thrown in. He says Hold On, he'll transfer me to a supervisor.

Instead, he hangs up on me. Rather than call back and wait 20 minutes to try to talk to a rep I just call the Baltimore Office. I tell him I have a reservation for the tow bar and give him my name.

He tells me, very accusatory, "You were supposed to pick it up at noon." I say, and I quote: "If you fucking pinheads had called me yesterday like you were supposed to then maybe I could have done that." Then I gave him the short version of the crap I had put up with so far from his company.

His attitude turned fast. He said I could pick it up anytime up til 8pm. I said thanks.

And I thought it was all over. A done deal. Couldn't get any worse.

Then I get the call. The guy picking up the tow has been told he cannot take it because they say his truck doesn't have the proper hitch on it. He tells them he's pulled the largest truck U-Haul has to offer with that truck, but they won't budge. They will not let him take the tow.

So here I am--with 2 days to get this fucking car across 50 miles to the location, and I'm not sure how to do it. Two tow truck companies turned me down last week--they don't want to tow that far, especially across the Bay Bridge. That's why I was going with the U-Haul option.

Now I have to get up early and make a lot of calls to see just how expensive it's gonna get. I'm sure SOMEONE will do it--the question becomes a matter of price.

Man, I know I say it everytime, but this is the LAST MOVIE I'M SHOOTING...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 17th, 2006: T Minus 5 Days

The first Giggle's head cast that I test painted myself. 
With my cheapo watercolor paint set. Yeah...that's talent.

This was some amateur photoshop to test out how the makeup would look on Clarence McNatt.
Obviously we tweaked it.

May 17, 2006

Yeah, only 5 more days and back into the breach. It's rushing at me too fast.

We still have a lot of people we haven't rehearsed, a lot of props still to be prepared, and stupid crap to be done. (The car we're going to light on fire needs to be towed to the Eastern Shore--it doesn't drive by itself but it LOOKS pretty as hell)

My biggest whoops so far seems to be my props estimate in the budget. I had it budgeted for around $500--it was just a guess. I really had no idea how much stuff we'd need until I broke down the script.

It's actually at about $2000 now, so that's rough. I'm actually kind of wondering if I'm going to run out of money near the end of the shoot--that wouldn't be too cool. I'm known for ALWAYS paying what I say I'm going to pay WHEN I say I'm going to pay it. It's one of the things that seems to distinguish me from many of the other local filmmakers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 16th, 2006 T Minus 6 Days To Shoot

Actor Clarence McNatt(on right) plays Ogre The Clown. To his left is some short guy named Mark Lassise. :)

May 16th

In other news, the shoot barrels at me full speed. We're having trouble figuring out where we're gonna put everybody for the night--we have more people staying than we thought. Some people I thought would head home in between their shooting days are planning on staying, and quite frankly, the hotels in the area are out of their mind.

We're trying to rent a house or something. Meanwhile I have to get this non-driving car to the eastern shore so we can burn it, pickup the van we're renting for gear, and prepare for David Mun(the Director of Photographer) to get into town on Saturday.

And oh yeah, prepare myself so I'm ready to direct the movie. It's the little things.

Friday, May 14, 2010

April 28th, 2006 - Kiss My Freakin' Ass

You can see the three outfits we chose from for Giggles' costume. This is actor Phillip Levine staying in character for even these pics. Guys was phenomenal as Giggles.
April 28th, 2006

We were supposed to have permission to shoot at Six Flags. I was assured by a number of people that it was just about a done deal. Just give them that scene from the script and the date, and they'd get back to me.

They got back to me. Corporate denied us permission.

Now, this is the first day of shooting. I moved it to that date, because they needed us to shoot before Memorial Day(their first day open). Now I've moved it up, and NOW I have to find a replacement location.


Monday, May 10, 2010

April 23rd, 2006 - Pez Head

Saw some of the FX for FOC2 today as Doug did the full body cast for Savannah(and yes, she was nude for it).

Here's one poor soul that Shivers essentially turns into a Pez dispenser. He's played by Chris O'Brocki.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April 18th, 2006: Five Hundred Pound Guerilla

Well, crisis time again.

There was a point about two months ago where I almost called off FOC2--it looked like the main actress couldn't come back, and there was a question of whether Shivers was coming back. If we couldn't get both I was just going to call it off.

Crisis averted. But here we are, five weeks away from shooting, and the main location has balked at letting us shoot there. I thought the whole thing was taken care of. A done deal.

So Frank is still talking with them. He's confident he can get them to sign off.

But I got a back-up plan. It's called "guerilla". We go in and shoot anyway, without permission.

I'm no stranger to guerilla shooting. Those who remember HH should remember the scene in the grocery store. We just walked in, set up, and shot. No one said anything. The shoppers walking around in the background were just that: shoppers. Most of them were so intent on shopping that they didn't even notice us.

And the road we blocked off to shoot the scene where Aric thinks someone(me) in the truck next to him is the guy stalking guerilla. That's B&A Blvd, and those who know that road probably realize it's pretty busy, even at midnight. Which is why cops at two different times stopped us to ask us what we were doing. I told them I was shooting something for class. They both left us alone.

But...the guerilla shooting game is a game for the young. When you're young you don't worry about little details like getting arrested. Also, you have the energy to run your ass off if things go wrong.

I guess I shouldn't worry. On the first FOC we shot some guerilla stuff--the footage in the Enchanted Forest was all guerilla. I even had to kick some people out of the park for trespassing while we were trespassing.

So I guess we're back on. Five weeks and counting, and there's a LOT still to be done.